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D_W

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An abr bridge with 6-32 or 4 mm threads will be fine. Just put a few drops of ultra thin super glue in the hole after thereading the posts and let it fully harden. That'll harden up the mahogany nicely and keep the posts securely in. By the way fret slots shouldn't be too tight. You can always tap the bottom of the fret tang with the edge of a chisel / file (I use a warington hammer that i've ground the sharp end to an invereted v shape)
Cheers
Andrew

That's a good idea with the tangs - make your own nibs on them. .023 isn't something I want to shoot for, but it's strange how much bigger the tang bumps are on the jumbo frets - to the point that the two frets would seat differently in something like a .025" groove.

After incorrectly measuring the prior saw kerf and thinking a .02" kerf was .023, I'm erring on the large side, though and will dot the edges of the frets with thin CA to make sure they stay down.

edit. I just tested both fret types in castelo box and they come out a little easy for my liking, but not on their own. A small dot of CA in three places will ensure they stay put without making them a terror to get out in ...OK, they'll never have to come out as nobody has two guitars and plays two hours a day any longer.
 

D_W

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Looking very nice, the cherry and castillo box looks sympathetic if atypical. I think cherry may be one of of my favourite woods. I made a tele style neck using cherry for a MIMF $100 guitar challenge, a it was lovely to work, and aged to a really nice mid tone, with subtle shimmer. The close grain and crispness of maple, with the agreeable workability and warmth of mahogant are a bonus.

Definitely an odd look - light colors like a fender, but the wrong light colors. The mahogany body will change color some when it gets finish, and the cherry will darken to this:



The box - we'll see. It won't be bright white like maple, but the outside of the box blanks that I have is a nice sort of straw color.

I like cherry - when I ask about it in guitars, I don't get a whole lot. I do notice after sawing it, though - it's not the most stable of woods. There are much worse, but it doesn't match the stability of mahogany. It's far nicer to sand and feel than hard maple, though. The two guitars I've made of cherry in the past, and a neck on a third all are good with resonance. One of them has a neck with some twist. these two neck blanks (even though sawn from wood years old) are moving around a small amount with weather changes (not enough to threaten playability, but just enough to see. They should move a little less when finished, though - the guitar that's a few years old with a neck that would move seasonally may not be moving as the last couple of times I looked at it, it's straight.
 

the great waldo

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That's a good idea with the tangs - make your own nibs on them. .023 isn't something I want to shoot for, but it's strange how much bigger the tang bumps are on the jumbo frets - to the point that the two frets would seat differently in something like a .025" groove.

After incorrectly measuring the prior saw kerf and thinking a .02" kerf was .023, I'm erring on the large side, though and will dot the edges of the frets with thin CA to make sure they stay down.

edit. I just tested both fret types in castelo box and they come out a little easy for my liking, but not on their own. A small dot of CA in three places will ensure they stay put without making them a terror to get out in ...OK, they'll never have to come out as nobody has two guitars and plays two hours a day any longer.
Putting the cuts into the bottom of the tang forms a wider burr which helps hold the fret and also stops the fret from rocking side to side ass it's supported at the bottom and in the middle.
Cheers
Andrew
 

D_W

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Putting the cuts into the bottom of the tang forms a wider burr which helps hold the fret and also stops the fret from rocking side to side ass it's supported at the bottom and in the middle.
Cheers
Andrew

Thanks for the thoughts on that as well as the bridge. as far as the bridge goes, I guess if the posts lean, I could insert something harder in the future. I don't like the idea at this point of putting in a Nashville style bridge (maybe it wouldn't make a difference) on such a light-bodied guitar.
 

the great waldo

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Thanks for the thoughts on that as well as the bridge. as far as the bridge goes, I guess if the posts lean, I could insert something harder in the future. I don't like the idea at this point of putting in a Nashville style bridge (maybe it wouldn't make a difference) on such a light-bodied guitar.
You can run down an extra height adjuster on the post till it's flat on the top (this will stop the threaded rod leaning) and then run another one down for height adjustment.(this is assuming you've got enough height under the bridge to fit 2 adjusters)?
Cheers
Andrew
 

the great waldo

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Have you seen that guy over in the u.s that mskes thr guitars with an aluminium frame? It gets tuned to the resonant frequency of the wood he uses ( apparently ) and they have a collosal price tag
I cant remember the name, it was a couple of years ago
Lots of b/s about in the music industry. Usually the bigger the price tag the more the bull!!
Cheers
Andrew
 

D_W

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I ended up ordering an abr1 bridge and Tailpiece for this guitar, but vintage style with very small travel on the saddles. For whatever reason, I couldn't easily find a slightly more modern bridge depth and aluminum Tailpiece. I guess if it ends up out of intonation range,

Even though this is a low budget build, the first one with Gibson pickups and mahogany is still going to end up around $550...

...plus case. Expensive hobby given that I could make 6 or 8 in a year with just here and there time.
 

the great waldo

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Gotoh make a good quality lp bridge GE103B - G-GOTOH no saddle rattles. and also an aluminium tailpeice. All the gotoh stuff is properly made (In Japan not China) and is reasonably priced. As you are in the USA philadelphialuthier should be able to supply you with most parts.
Cheers
Andrew
 

D_W

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Gotoh make a good quality lp bridge GE103B - G-GOTOH no saddle rattles. and also an aluminium tailpeice. All the gotoh stuff is properly made (In Japan not China) and is reasonably priced. As you are in the USA philadelphialuthier should be able to supply you with most parts.
Cheers
Andrew

That's the guy I generally buy from - in this case, his combo deal has something "made in the US", but I'll buy a gotoh bridge if it's lacking in adjustment range.

I like the tone pros hardware, but can't justify the price difference on cheap builds like this.
 

the great waldo

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That's the guy I generally buy from - in this case, his combo deal has something "made in the US", but I'll buy a gotoh bridge if it's lacking in adjustment range.

I like the tone pros hardware, but can't justify the price difference on cheap builds like this.
Most of the tone pros stuff is rebadged gotoh parts, the bridge is a Gotoh bridge with a couple of grub/allen screws threaded to fix the bridge onto the posts, an easy conversion for someone with your obvious talents. By the way the mylespaul forum Luthier section might be a useful source of info for you.
Cheerts
Andrew
 

D_W

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That's what I'd assumed and why I wasn't ponying up the extra cash for the TP stuff - it doesn't look any better than gotoh.

I'm a little puzzled re: what phila-luthier is using that is made in the USA, vintage spec (not as wide as the gotoh bridges) and that has brass saddles and no wire. I wonder if it's somehow connected to whoever does the castings for gibson.

I'm not sold on the super high dollar hardware and tuners, but much of that is overweight gear that I'm not looking to use, anyway (like the giant heavy strat and tele bridges, etc, and some has big etchings of the hardware brand on it which is ....not attractive).
 

the great waldo

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The American made bridges from WD use the Gibson bridges with the writing ground of before plating (you can just see the shadow of the writing if held against a bright light) I'll assume that Philly Luthier use the same manufacturer. The Faber bridges from Germany are quite good.
Cheers
Andrew
 

D_W

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If that's what the bridge is, I'll report on it. The good thing about the whole set was that it's about $80 with tax and shipping.

I think the rods are brass, though (not thrilled about that, and if that's historically accurate, I'm not really going for historical anything - would love spring steel posts and carbon steel saddles - but the cheap thing).

I've browsed faber stuff before, but never bought any (due to the price). I sold a bunch of guitars years ago and ran into a guy who was a tire kicker, but then messaged me relentlessly with guitar questions - I guess for no reason other than that I made the mistake of answering questions about wood. At any rate, he must've told me about 750 times that he'd never replace a bridge with anything but faber. Had a fascination with believing that gibson used better wood than anyone else, too - strange guy.
 

the great waldo

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If that's what the bridge is, I'll report on it. The good thing about the whole set was that it's about $80 with tax and shipping.

I think the rods are brass, though (not thrilled about that, and if that's historically accurate, I'm not really going for historical anything - would love spring steel posts and carbon steel saddles - but the cheap thing).

I've browsed faber stuff before, but never bought any (due to the price). I sold a bunch of guitars years ago and ran into a guy who was a tire kicker, but then messaged me relentlessly with guitar questions - I guess for no reason other than that I made the mistake of answering questions about wood. At any rate, he must've told me about 750 times that he'd never replace a bridge with anything but faber. Had a fascination with believing that gibson used better wood than anyone else, too - strange guy.
I'm sure you could find some engineering bolts with the correct thread and cut them down to size, they would be a very good quality steel. You could maybe use stainless steel which of the right grade is much harder than brass and won't rust. Gibson wood over the years has been all over the place. I was at the Frankfurt music fair a few years ago and overheard a funny conversation with some Gibson guys trying buy ebony from an Indian supplier. They kept trying to pay the guy for the wood with les paul guitars and the Indian chap kept explaining that he needs money to feed his family and run his buisness not electric guitars. The Gibson guys seemed so indoctrinated with the company that they didn't seem to understand what the chap was trying to explain!!
Cheers
Andrew
 

D_W

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Much cleaner and easier fretwork with the right sized slots.

I have the morning off this morning due to an electrician here working on the end of the house where my fiber modem is.
20220303_101312.jpg


This picture finally shows the color of the box properly. It's wonderful
 

D_W

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guitar one has throw me a curveball at this point. I intended to try to do all of the steps accurately and just throw things together. Somewhere in the triangulation of things, the bridge is about 1/16th off center (or the markings), which is due to the neck being out of line with the original centerline. The neck is glued in, so too late. Pickup cavities are already drilled there are one or two other small things to fix.

Nothing terminal, but a good lesson in not locating the bridge until the neck is in place. The amount of discombobulation is within the limits of the pickup covers so none should be visible in the final guitar, but it's a little disappointing.

Guitar weight without hardware is 5 pounds 5 oz. I think that means this guitar will end up somewhere around 7 1/2 pounds and it should be looser sounding and not so tight in the mids and bottom end.

i think I'm going to remake the second fingerboard and come up with a setup to cut the frets square with a center mark and then taper the fingerboard second and profile the radius last.

So more problems that I didn't have with the first guitar among other things done better. The frets were a breeze. They are almost level just as installed, which is what I suppose someone should expect.

I did end up using a medium fretwire instead of a jumbo - I figured that this fingerboard was shaping up better and the amount of leveling that I had to do on the super jumbo frets wouldn't be needed, and super jumbo frets at full height are pretty drastic.
 

D_W

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Or in short, this guitar is turning into a bit of a cowpat and some parts are like the first one where I'm doing correcting that I don't really want to do. I'd like to build and not chase adjustments from mistakes.

When I cut the neck tenon joint on the second of these two, I'm going to use a piece of wire and a pin to check exactly where the fingerboard edges and center will go.
20220304_053425.jpg
 
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D_W

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I'm sure you could find some engineering bolts with the correct thread and cut them down to size, they would be a very good quality steel. You could maybe use stainless steel which of the right grade is much harder than brass and won't rust. Gibson wood over the years has been all over the place. I was at the Frankfurt music fair a few years ago and overheard a funny conversation with some Gibson guys trying buy ebony from an Indian supplier. They kept trying to pay the guy for the wood with les paul guitars and the Indian chap kept explaining that he needs money to feed his family and run his buisness not electric guitars. The Gibson guys seemed so indoctrinated with the company that they didn't seem to understand what the chap was trying to explain!!
Cheers
Andrew

gibson and their wood supply over the years is an interesting topic. In the late 70s, they started to laminate mahogany necks (which probably makes for a better neck, even in mahogany - as I look across everything I've bought, I can't recall any laminated necks that have had a significant issue, but body hump and dips and S shaped stuff on the surface of decades old mahogany neck guitars aplenty - I have one right now that needs to be fixed and then refretted just to be sold (I'll have to plane it) - a yamaha SG700 - too bad, it's a good guitar otherwise.

But as far as the mahogany goes, I don't follow too much of what went on in the early days as they were still willing to try things (with korina, etc, but gibson calls korina difficult to handle and work - I'm sure just because you can't throw it in jigs and carelessly cut and shape and edge treat it with no problem like you can mahogany).


I had a 76 les paul that was pancake, but it was only 10 pounds even and I have to admit, it was pretty nice (laminated maple, of course - neck had no relief but was perfectly straight and stable - if I'd have kept it, I'd have shaped just a bit of relief into the fingerboard. It was fine plugged in. And then after that, a 90s guitar with neck stability that didn't even survive retail (sold to me as an unknowing teenager and gibson wouldn't have anything to do with it when I went to a guitar tech that wasn't at the dealer that sold it a couple of years later).

And then the weight relief variations make it harder to tell what the wood is until around ...something like 2006? when gibson set up an agreement to get their wood from fiji. The second growth wood has nice characteristics and looks nice (usually not super dense, though they've made some boat anchors in the lower cost lines in the last half dozen years - the ones made as store specials like the "les paul player plus" or some other such thing made for guitar center - some of those were 12 pounds). But, they're still missing stability - I like to think I've only had 8 gibsons - but I just counted - 13 of them.

3 of those had so much wood movement that they had dead areas on the fingerboard, who had enough movement that the lacquer checked end to end before they were 10 years old (I'm sure that's two factors - the lacquer not having enough plasticizer and the wood moving too much - looks great on an old guitar, but hindrance if trying to dump a newer guitar). Another two guitars needed to have the frets leveled to reasonably sell them. So five had playability issues, 2 of the 3 that were dead needed significant fret leveling, and the third was unfixable (I sold it as salvage - which just because it's gibson wasn't lovely, but yielded a surprising return (still was 60-70% of "good" used guitar cost - the guy who bought it said he just liked the way it looked and he wouldn't play past the 8th fret where it was dead as a doornail).

Everything has some level of needing periodic work - tokai's regular line stuff seems about the same. The older yamaha guitars that were gibson copies and actually mahogany, same, but the ones with mahogany body and maple neck - haven't had anything with an issue.

The other thing that's irked me with gibson is their desire in some cases to save $3 on a $2800 guitar. Like getting rid of indian rosewood for a while on a les paul standard and using a lighter colored central american rosewood, as well as a reddish granadillo that looks like bubinga on some of the slightly lower cost models. And things like making the "slash" les paul (I'm not the customer for that, anyway) and putting in their own pickups to not buy an (at the time) retail pair of duncan alnico II pros for $160, which was probably wholesale to gibson at $100. And then trying to turn around claiming their own pickups should retail at $180 each.

Could be worse, but if they were satisfied to make good guitars only and just live with whatever size the market would be, they could be a whole lot more like fender, who manages to make a very good US guitar in 7 hours of labor, and a very good mex guitar in about the same for 1/2 to 2/3ds the cost.

I think the wood stability issues in the last 15 years are due to second growth wood of a uniform source and unwillingness to develop a specialty drying process or hold the wood for a couple of years before using it. And the trouble extends to the fingerboard wood (the instability).
 

D_W

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now, with dots...interestingly, the rosewood ends up showing up nearly black. I have 1/8th plastic dowels made for making custom dots (vs. getting the little dots). I should've used them - but I didn't - I feel like what I'm making is too nice for plastic, but let's be honest - it really isn't and I wouldn't care later.

I made the little dowels with an LN dowel plate - I won't say it works great, but it works well enough. One of every two or three dowels has a usable section and then cutting them and flushing them. Flushing is done with an incannel gouge so that I don't have to saw them too closely. For me, at least, it's a bad place to take risks. Why the incannel patternmaker gouge? it's rosewood, and the gouge can slice - patternmaker gouges are just magic on end grain compared to straight chisels. a pocket knife with a steep bevel on one side is good, too.

When I'm actually making things, i'm reminded of how few "premium" tools I use on a regular basis. This is part of the reason for my sour attitude in the open forum and why I post there less now.

The workmanship isn't collings quality here, let's be honest - but I pulled out my carved top guitar and looked at the neck binding and fingerboard, etc, compared to that guitar and it's nutty how much better you get on item #2 of the same type.

if there's anything I could ever impress upon a beginner (though I'll be one my entire life - that's just the way it is), it's to be willing to make a bunch of something and really fine results bewteen iterations. There's still more to improve on this one - notice that the very last fret slot isn't straight - not sure on that one, but it's like that - fortunately off kilter on the low side - I'll never play those notes. unsightly as my belly, though.

I can solve that by making a miter box, but I do so love to do all of that work freehand. I think the fix will be just to cut the frets while the fingerboard isn't yet tapered in width (i.e., while it's square). I know now that I can plane the fingerboard freely with slots in it already and not worry about chipout on this very dry feeling box).

Frets are already given the first level and halfway polished. Once the nut is installed and a few more FP coats are added, I will give them one more going-over - I found in the past that if I level the frets very heavily on the first go, through and fall asleep for a second, the first fret ends up a little low - I didn't do it in this case, but so far, I've had "good" fretting after one leveling and super fretting if leveling roughly crowning the frets and then doing a lighter level.

somehow, this guitar got slight hump at the higher frets so they got filed (fall away) pretty heavily. Not to jinx myself, but since this guitar is getting gibson pre-wired crapola, the wiring should be pretty quick. The way I drilled the passages, the switch will need to be re-soldered, but that's about 5 minutes of work (the connector is way too fat to fit through the passages)

20220307_130848.jpg
 

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